For a guy who has been in a long distance relationship for the best part of a year now, I’d consider myself a self-proclaimed expert of sorts on the subject. I’ve seen for myself the highs and lows that such a unique relationship can bring and the ultimately unique path that we blaze in the world is something that most ordinary couples usually won’t witness or have to traverse themselves. I present below 10 tips which couples may find useful who have themselves the unfortunate situation of being away from their significant other.
1. Be positive
This may sound like a no-brainer but you’d be surprised how quickly negativity can bring about its very own vicious cycle, where it leads to more negativity. Whatever it is you gain your positive energy from (Self-help books, movies, sports), make sure you do even more of that during your time away as that positive attitude can really bring a smile to your partner and make things a lot better.
2. Pray pray pray
Can’t emphasise this enough. There is something unique about turning towards a higher power for guidance, for solace, for peace. During a long distance relationship, things no doubt get stressful and to be able to pray for each other, your families, and of course your relationship is fundamentally important towards your wellbeing.
3. Regular communication
Again, a bit of commonsense of course but communication is deeply undervalued. The amount of times I tell those who are looking for a spouse to physically meet them rather than doing it over the internet. The communication (verbal, body, emotional) from physically meeting someone is so much easier to express than over a virtual medium. The same applies in this sphere too. Communication breakdown can happen over WhatsApp, Facebook, Skype. Make sure you not only speak regularly but see each other regularly. If you cannot see each other, then just talk. If you can’t talk, then text. But make sure it is regular and clear.
4. Visual aids
Photos, videos, montages, Skype. These things are so important especially when a physical connection is just not possible. Make sure you send photos of yourself. They don’t have to have a filter or have been airbrushed in any way at all. Just be yourself. Be a selfie addict for your significant other. Have a Snapchat story just for them (if that’s your sort of thing), creative videos, photo-montages, anything to remind your spouse that you are thinking of him/her.
5. Keeping things fresh
In communicating with your spouse, make sure you keep things fresh. Don’t do the same old routine every day or you end up coming across as boring. Have a Skype date night, make an entire story using just emojis, keep your other half laughing and smiling. These little things may not seem like much but it can make a world of difference to them.
6. Keep occupied
An idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Keep busy, keep active, focus on the horizon. It’s incredible how easy it can be to get sad or depressed about your situation when you’re bored. Your mind wonders and you only begin thinking of him/her and how much you miss them and before you know it, you’ve ended up in the “Bridget Jones” mode.
7. A personal touch
Adding a personal touch to everything you do, say, or give can make a tremendous impact on your spouse. Whether it is an old fashioned written letter or a personalised gift, make your mark on them with your own thumbprint. It can be an embroidered polo shirt, a personalised towel set, a piece of jewellery that reminds them of you, a piece of artwork, anything that gives them a bit of a lift and the comfort of familiarity.
8. The countdown calendar
Keeping a countdown calendar is generally a hit and miss. Some couples find it extremely useful and some the complete opposite. I’m generally of the school of thought that as long as you can keep looking at that calendar with a glass half full attitude, then the days go by quickly.
9. Healthy lifestyle
Stay active and keep fit. You don’t want a scenario where your partner sees you physically for the first time in months to find a bit of a pot belly. Not only do you want to look good for your partner but physical exercise helps in releasing endorphins, the hormone responsible for your overall happiness and mental wellbeing. You’ll feel alive after a good round of exercise.
10. Take stock and be grateful
Humans are never grateful enough. Always look back at how much you’ve been through together, how this time is temporary, and be grateful that your relationship will be and is already a lot stronger than other couples. Be grateful for the time you have together, for your relationship, and be grateful that your creator has got you this far and no doubt will support you both always.
by Ammar Farishta